Day 76 – Migraine

There is clearly something very wrong with me, and I’m not talking about the migraine I have.

My first thought looking at the glass of water and two Panadol on the night stand was to adjust the glass to improve the composition so I could take a decent shot for today’s post (see header image on homepage).

And with that, I’m going to go back to bed.

Later world!

Day 75 – Yoga, Coffee, Dot Icecream

I am glad I’ve returned to Yoga. I think I stopped going at first because I was busy, then because it made me feel like half the day was gone before I got home again, but those are all stupid reasons not to do Yoga.

The class officially starts at 10:30 and finishes at 11:30… but in reality our excellent instructor never quite gets there till 11:45. I just relish the 15 minutes of extra stretching. Last week my legs were complaining bitterly after the experience, this week less so. I’m sure I’ll be on the road to flexibility again in no time.

A Healthy Breakfast... (?)
A Healthy Breakfast… (?)

I have taken to bringing my Kindle along so that on the way back I can sit down with my coffee and read a few chapters. After Yoga my limbs always feel very heavy, and I usually don’t do much with the time anyway so I might as well visit Tyrion, Arya and Jon as I recover. It’s amazing how time flies when I’m sitting there.

As you can see, I took the opportunity to add some pretend-breakfast to my break. I don’t usually eat before going to the gym. Food before Yoga isn’t the most pleasant of experiences.

By about 1:30pm I started to feel like I should really go do something with the day. Including an errand or two that arrived via the wonder of Wunderlist. Quick stop through the shops, and I decided I wanted some ice cream.

I had seen the Dippin’ Dots wagon outside the shops a few times, and I had assumed this was just one of those soft-serve-dipped-in-a-variety-of-things stands.

It was far more confusing than that…

We're Living in the Future!
We’re Living in the Future!

We’re living in a future where ice cream no longer comes in cones, nor as it happens, in the form of a continuous whole. Apparently in 2013, ice cream gets served in the form of pellets, scooped and levelled into a small container.

My dots were of the vanilla with crushed-Oreos-mixed-in variety. They tasted fine, but there is something a little clumsy about a container full of little pellets eaten with a spoon. For one thing I had to finish before driving; it just lacks that one-handed-eatability that a cone brings to the wheel.

Still, an interesting experience.

Day 74 – Lazy Day… Really

Today I feel completely lazy.

Most of the day I have been very passive, and still my eyes feel like I should be sleeping instead. I know they are lying, because I napped for at least an hour and half in the middle of the day. And I actually slept plenty last night.

The day even started late with my morning coffee at 11-ish. I got some new nasal spray to deal with the inevitable fallout of a windy day like this. It makes my hay fever flare up, but I’m all set now.

Two episodes of Breaking Bad season 3 didn’t do much for my activity level either. And then I spent an hour in bed reading A Song of Ice and Fire part 319, whilst trying to stare out the window for wandering passers-by. This is when I fell asleep, so if there were any wanderers, I probably missed them.

And now I’m sitting at my computer procrastinating and daydreaming.

I need to do something for my energy levels.

Maybe I should go for a walk soon and see if that kick-starts my brain into doing something. Otherwise I’m afraid this day will just be a lazy write-off.

Getting to 10k at Night

I went out for a walk tonight to get to my 10k steps for the day. I also took the camera with me to try to take some night shots freehand.

I need some more practice at one of these two things; and my bracelet buzzed as I got back to the car, so you can guess which of the two turned out sub-par!

Nevertheless, below are the results with some commentary on each image.

Day 73 – Indirect Traffic

Go, Slow, Stop
Go, Slow, Stop

I wish the component images had been a little sharper; I clearly didn’t check closely enough. I was waiting for the lights as I was crossing the road on my late night walk tonight, and my eye was drawn to the bright colouring of the traffic lights on the school sign. At first I thought I’d slice it in thirds and composite a single sign from the three colours, but I think I like it better this way because it captures the light on the trees and footpath as well.

Day 72 – Personal Development

Preparing for the presentation I did last Wednesday has had unexpected flow-on effects. Looking through code listings that I had not seen for a year, and re-reading my post on Reflection Performance made me want to play around and re-implement a more flexible version of the APIs in the latest .NET version.

And then the inevitable happened.

I started reading web pages.

And I remember all the techniques and methodologies I have meant to write about and apply properly. Maybe I should take this as a sign to combine the two and write a series of posts on my journey of “Doing Fast Reflection Right”.

What this would look like is something like:

I’ll try not to make (all) these posts a part of my 365 day challenge for fear of boring any non-developer readers.

Day 71 – Burning the Subway

Today wasn’t a Wednesday like any other.

Wednesdays like any other have more Ken in them in the evening. Unfortunately (for me) he is currently travelling around Asia having what he calls a “Holiday”; I’m not sure I am fully familiar with the word, but I gather it involves not going to work for extended periods of time.

So instead, I decided to walk.

I wasn’t too hungry yet after having improvised lunch at work which consisted of chocolate and chips because I had too many meetings to get away from my desk today. So, I resolved to park along the Stanhope Parkway once again and walk my way to the shops.

Subway Salad Components
Subway Salad Components

2000 steps each way.

I doubt that equates to the 6-inch Subway I had, but it’ll definitely have burned off a small part of it. And it helped me get a little closer to the 10k target for the day. I think I’ll stall around 8000, which is a good enough effort considering my job consists of sitting and moving numbers around.

I had the Italian B.M.T. (toasted of course), with not too much lettuce, and everything else (except jalapenos and carrot). Aside: who ever asks for carrot on their Subway sandwich anyway? Carrot doesn’t go with anything they serve.

It took me less than getting halfway back to my car before the sandwich was gone.

The evening was actually very comfortable for t-shirt and shorts tonight. And the stars were all out.

I was even treated to a loud chorus of frogs and crickets as I walked past the ponds. I briefly considered scaring the ducks, but then I remembered I was neither 2 years old nor particularly cruel.

And then…

Sad Rolls, Unwanted Along the Path.
Sad Rolls, Unwanted Along the Path

I came across my friend, the bag of rolls I photographed on my weekend walk along the Parkway. I didn’t get a very good shot, but I wasn’t too keen to interact with the bag to line up better light.

I wonder how long it’ll remain there… unmoved by the world around it.

Day 70 – Final Demo Prep

Tonight I have spent another evening doing preparation work for the demo I am presenting tomorrow. Maybe I’m a bit too much of a perfectionist, but it just doesn’t feel right to give a presentation without planning out what is important to cover, and how I make it all into a cohesive whole.

And then fit it within the allotted 20 minutes of time.

There will be other sessions that other developers may present on the detailed intricacies of parts of the material I am just going to gloss over, but I still need to make sure this presentation paints a compelling picture why our common libraries add so much value to our software development.

I’ve decided on a mix of slides to paint the broader context, and hands-on demos for the pieces where “show, don’t tell” will bear more fruit.

And I’m hoping I can get through the material in closer to 15 minutes, so that there are also 15 minutes for questions not 10.

I have a suspicion that there will be questions about features I will not show. And any attempt to comprehensively cover them all would probably result in a full day presentation not just half an hour. I’d rather have questions drive a few more ad-hoc demo segments and be sure that I’ll cover whatever interests the people attending.

But now… I feel a little hazy, and I should stop thinking about this.

I went to another cycle class after work and before this prep-work. Three classes into cycle, it feels like it is getting easier but I still have a serious case of gym-brain.

Day 69 – Not As Fun As It Sounds

I am still a couple of months away from the first anniversary of my new management job. Over the past 10 months I have barely touched an IDE for anything more than a quick play.

Yesterday I installed Visual Studio 2013 RC, and today I am opening some libraries that have become only dim memories to have a poke around.

This Wednesday I am due to do a 20 minute presentation on the common code libraries that a lot of our applications were built on. I’m the expert on account of having written the bulk of the code in it. I am desperately trying to change that situation by encouraging them to replace anything that they consider broken or insufficient.

Although this angle hasn’t borne too much fruit yet, I’m now doubling down by adding some education to hopefully make the work ahead more visible and more in-demand.

In short, I’m kinda-sorta having a good evening with code that I haven’t seen in what feels like years. However, it *is* work, and I should be watching TV, reading a book, or shooting something.

I hope to find some time in the near future to do something substantive with the IDE though, and hopefully drop it into a public repository somewhere.

Day 68 – BBQ Lizard

A squeaky kind of general excitement called me out into the back yard today. I was just unpacking the dishwasher and was loath to walk away from the task before I finished it.

I got pointed in the direction of what I will generously call the barbecue, which is a rusted hot-plate over a recess built into the retaining wall in the back yard.


We don’t actually use it as a barbecue.

The source of the excitement was hidden deep in the shade of the hot plate. I had to set up really close and zoom in to get an exposure that didn’t completely blow-out in the foreground.

Blue Tongue Lizard Specimen (slightly cooked)
Blue Tongued Lizard Specimen (slightly cooked)

This Blue Tongued Lizard specimen was sitting atop a log with its back pressed to what must have been a fairly hot plate. You could easily mistake it for a snake from this angle.

For a sample of where its name comes from (I wasn’t lucky enough to get it to show us), check out Wikipedia for a picture of a similar specimen.

Anyway; apparently now we need to put snails and pieces of banana near this hideout at night. Because that is what we do to creatures in our backyard. (Sorry snails, you are expendable).